This extremely popular multiuse park on the west side of the Island is a rare combination of wildlife and human activity. At 90 acres, it contains a 1.5-mile loop path, used from sun up to sun down by joggers, walkers, parents with strollers, dogs on and (unofficially) off leash, bikers, trikers, scooters, and skaters.
The park’s two ponds provide habitat for mallards, widgeons, herons, redwing blackbirds, hawks, and the occasional river otter trotting up from the beach through the Ferry Dell Trail. The park is home to rabbits, robins, turtles, crows and is often visited by Canada geese, flickers, grebes, seagulls, coyotes, deer, and raccoons. Breeding migratory residents include swallows and an osprey family that nests on the platform above the water tower, where they relocated in about 2006 after their nest on the Ferry Dell Trail blew down in a winter storm. The park’s regular sports enthusiasts include soccer, lacrosse, hockey, softball, baseball, tennis, pick-up basketball, Frisbee golf, and even sand volleyball players. Even occasional anglers dip a line in the larger pond, kept stocked by the Park District, which houses its maintenance shop and offices here.
A large community-built play park attracts daily users, as do an observatory, gymnastics center, and small wooded nature trail. Horses trot along the perimeter trails of the park or in the horse corral on the park’s south end. The community covered picnic area (sign up in advance) fills up fast in the summer, as do local summer camps offered here. A community pea patch offers 28 rental plots for gardeners. If you need more reasons to visit, come for the summer bluegrass festival, to see baby bunnies, to fly a kite, or for a pleasant place to picnic on a private corner of grass.
Although Battle Point Park is heavily used, there is always a quiet spot to find and, on rainy days at off times, you and your dog can have the place to yourself.
Park Entrances: Battle Point Park can be entered from Arrowpoint Road on the east side, Battle Point Road on the west, or Frey Road to the north, each with parking lots.
Connect your visit to Battle Point Park with the nearby Ferry Dell Trail, which leads down to a public mudflat beach, or to the Forest to Sky Trail, a hilly wooded walk that is a corridor to the Grand Forest on Miller Road. The Ferry Dell Trail is a short walk out of the north end of Battle Point Park heading east, and the Forest to Sky Trail is a short trek beyond the southeast corner of the park.
Photos by Julie Hall.